Just Whose Side Are You On?

Dave Killion — January 23, 2012

A libertarian frenemy


One of the feeds to which I subscribe is the Cato Recent Op-eds, from the redoubtable Cato Institute. Cato has a senior fellow named Nat Hentoff, who is one of those principled leftists who is consistently calling out US President Obama and the Democrats for their anti-left conduct. Unfortunately, Hentoff also spends time advocating anti-libertarian activities such as state funding of PBS and NPR. On January 11, my Cato feed sent me an article called “Will Romney end PBS, public radio funding?” –

“If Mitt Romney makes these cuts, he will create a dark hole in our lives that will defy James Madison’s warning — which becomes more contemporary every day: “A people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives … a popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both.”

Commercials won’t tell us that our public schools no longer have nurses in our neighborhood.” 

Notice that if you click on the link to the article, you will find that it doesn’t go to Cato, but rather to one of the other sites still posting the op-ed. Hentoff’s piece is no longer to be found at Cato. I haven’t decided whether I think that’s good or not.

Of course Hentoff is entitled to his opinions, but libertarians who donate to Cato probably don’t care to pay him to campaign against us. If he would rather not restrain himself from championing authoritarian positions, that’s fine, but I won’t be sending money to Cato so long as he continues to do so. As valuable an ally he is, his contribution to the cause appears to be a wash. Perhaps it’s time to show him the door.

Leave a Comment

Disclaimer: The articles and opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Libertarian Book Club.